Louisa (21) Education support in JGA, Mashimoni and Suswa
“A rewarding, fun and exciting experience, where I met lifelong friends and became part of a new family who have changed my life and inspired me to become the best version of myself.”
Embarking on her gap year before University, 21 year old Louisa decided to volunteer with KCH. She has since volunteered three times providing vital education support in Mashimoni, Suswa and at Jonathan Gloag Academy.
“Ever since my first visit to Kenya, knowing of the amazing work that is done there and the happy faces of the children have continued to inspire me to return to volunteer with KCH.”
Louisa was involved with the day-to-day running of KCH, helping out wherever she was needed in TBH, in the kitchen, the bakery, the pre-school, the nursery, the houses and the café.
One particular powerful memory continues to stay with her.
“I have so many memories that I treasure dearly from my time at KCH. One memory that sticks in my mind is when I was doing a shopping spree on my second visit to Kenya. I had been standing outside a supermarket, asking people to buy food for the children at TBH for around 8 hours on my third day doing the shopping spree and I was exhausted.
An older gentleman approached me. He was pushing a shopping trolley and carrying a small plastic bag. He pushed the full shopping trolley towards me and simply said “This is for the children.”
He turned to walk away with his small bag of shopping and I just remember being so happy and so full of admiration for his kindness. I couldn't think of how to thank him enough and so I gave him a hug. Every time I think about that moment I am reminded of the inherent ability of human beings to care for one another and to be selfless. It gives me hope that one day in the future children everywhere will be fed and cared for properly.”
This life-affirming moment was only one of many treasured memories Louisa has from her time with KCH.
Experiencing the day-to-day challenges of the running of KCH meant that Louisa could see exactly what works best for the children in terms of their development as young people. Louisa felt that the set up of the house system with each ‘house’ having a house Mum was a really effective in the way that it replicates a real family unit. As such, this set up is a powerful tool to aid the development of the children as young people.
“Volunteering with KCH has not only emphasised to me the things which are truly important in life but it has made me realise what I personally want out of life- to help as many people as I possibly can. I have since chosen to study to be a doctor as I think this would be the most useful career to achieve this. In this way, volunteering at KCH has inspired the rest of my working life.”
“I can’t encourage you enough to volunteer, is it is the most rewarding, fun and eye opening experience. It truly will change your view and attitude to life for the better.”
“The butterfly project is a really good idea I think and I hope it will mean in the future that ex- home children will manage to become independent from KCH when they are adults.”
Louisa faced a particular personal challenge while she was volunteering with the loss of her Grandfather.
“I found it quite difficult to deal with the grief without the support of my family and friends. Having said this, being around children who largely don’t have any family to care for them emphasised how lucky I am to have had a grandfather who loved me and who lived long enough to see me grow up and to, hopefully, be proud of me. The strength of character in such young children inspired me to also find emotional strength.”